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Abbott, Omada Health to Combine Digital Coaching With CGM for Those With Type 2 Diabetes

Mary Caffrey
Omada Health, a longtime leader in digital health coaching for diabetes prevention and type 2 diabetes (T2D) care, and Abbott, maker of the FreeStyle Libre, said the partnership will “create a new paradigm” in T2D management.
Two important players in diabetes care have joined forces to combine health coaching with glucose monitoring, giving patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) a single source to learn how to change their diet and exercise patterns and then track the results.

Omada Health, a longtime leader in digital health coaching for diabetes prevention as well as hypertension, cholesterol, and T2D care, and Abbott, maker of the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, announced a partnership Monday that the companies said will “create a new paradigm” in T2D management.

The idea, leaders of both Omada and Abbott said in their joint announcement, is to give people with T2D access to Omada’s digital coaching platform and the FreeStyle Libre CGM as an integrated package, instead of expecting patients to find these elements separately.

“The mission of Omada Health has always been to empower meaningful, sustainable behavior change for those individuals living with type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions,” Omada Cofounder and Chief Executive Office Sean Duffy said in the announcement. “Partnering with Abbott to give individuals access to FreeStyle Libre as part of the Omada program will deliver a unique combination of personalized human coaching and technology-enabled care to support those goals."

Said Jared Watkin, senior vice president for Diabetes Care, Abbott, “Through this collaboration, we’re creating a personalized care experience that combines Abbott’s leading CGM technology with Omada Health’s professional coaching and digital platform—giving people with type 2 diabetes actionable information that leads to better health.”

According to an email to The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®), the partnership offers those with T2D a 3-part solution:
(1) It teaches them how to eat healthier food, exercise effectively, and make other lifestyle changes
(2) It gives them a tool that displays how these changes affect their blood glucose in real time;
(3) It supports them with educational materials and certified diabetes educators (CDEs), who can both guide behavior and offer help with the new CGM device.


According to the email to AJMC®, Omada Health will offer the integrated package to employers and health plans, and people with T2D who have access to the Omada Health program will be eligible.

“Directly from their smartphones, participants will be able to track progress and access proactive, tailored recommendations from their assigned CDE coaches through online chats in Omada’s app as well as access interactive educational lessons about diabetes and support from an online peer group,” a spokesperson said in an email.

While CGM has been considered the standard of care in type 1 diabetes for some time, the cost factor of traditional CGM technology has made it a harder sell for most patients in T2D, although Medicare does cover it for those who need multiple daily insulin doses. By contrast, the lower price point of the FreeStyle Libre, a flash glucose monitor that requires the user to scan a reader over the sensor, has been seen by experts as a breakthrough technology that would finally bring glucose monitoring to a wider population with T2D. A report in Evidence-Based Diabetes Management™ in March 2019 said the FreeStyle Libre’s annual costs are $900 to $1800 per year, compared with $3000 to $5000 for traditional CGM systems.

The FreeStyle Libre achieved global sales of $496 million in the third quarter of 2019, according to the company’s financials released today. This was a 63.1% increase on a reported basis and a 67.7% increase on an organic basis compared with the prior year.

 
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